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The sometimes unpleasant end of your dog


"TOBY!"  The disgusted scream on the well-run commercial in the South Florida market has elicited many snickers.  Toby scoots his rear across the white carpet and a carpet cleaning company rushes to the rescue.

Dogs that scoot across the ground, lick their anal area excessively or seem particularly sensitive to being touched around the base of their tail may have impacted anal glands.

Underneath the skin on either side of the anus are glands that excrete a strongly scented substance.  This scent marks territory or expresses fear.

If the anal glands do not empty naturally, they cause discomfort.  This might be caused by poor diet, constipation or loose stools, lack of exercise, or obesity.  Anal gland impaction can be corrected by addressing any of these issues:  adding a long, vigorous walk, allowing dogs off-leash run time, adding fatty oils and fiber to the diet, and watching a dog's weight.  A groomer can be directed to express the anal glands during a dog's bath.


"Scooting" is not a joke, it's a symptom of a minor and easily addressed health issue.